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Know a lawyer?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Bananahead1, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. I urgently need to consult a lawyer about a disciplinary hearing (for advice, I'm taking in the union). Anyone recommend someone in West Midlands area?
     
  2. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    Don't the union have a legal department?

    In theory you can't take a lawyer into an internal process unless you have been accused of something which would be considered for legal prosecution at a later stage (at least that's my understanding).

    My strong recommendation would be to read up on the employment law surrounding the allegations made against you to make sure that they are abiding within the law. There are also lots of free legal helplines if you just want some advice about a point of law. You can also contact acas or the GTC.

    The weird thing about employment law is that they don't have to actually prove or disprove anything but they have to have a 'reasonable belief' that the premise is accurate. So if everyone in your department said you never do any planning and are always late for meetings, then they can accept that even if at a later date you could show video footage of you arriving at meetings on time and provide a full folder of your planning. They just have to have a reasonable belief that such a thing occurred.

    I'm not from around the West Middlands but you could try just putting your City/ town name and employment lawyer into google and see what comes up... look for local forums where people are making recommendations.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    You should be able to access legal advice from your union. Ask to be referred to the regional office if your local rep is not up to it. Otherwise check your home insurance as you may well be entitled to legal cover, which will include employment issues.
    The Supreme Court's recent ruling makes it less likely that employees can take a lawyer into an internal disciplinary hearing, where the ultimate decision about whether they can continue in their profession is made by an external regulator. This ruling overturned judgments made at first instance and then the Court of Appeal. [See R (on the application of G) v Governors of X School and Y City Council [2011] UKSC 30] In the case of teachers, the decision rests with the ISA and/or GTC and its successor.
     
  4. I have been accused :(

    I am taking the Union rep in but would like some extra advice from a professional so I sound like the only person in the room that knows what they're talking about...

    Sigh.
     
  5. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    As I said, I read recently about a case where a teacher had been accused of something that could have resulted in a prosecution and he was allowed to take legal council into the disciplinary hearing because the outcome could affect any future legal action. Find a lawyer and push for them to be present if you think you may be in similar circumstances an DO NOT rely on the concept that the profession has standards or will abide by their own code of conduct. The people you work with may be supportive and reasonable but HR are not!!! So although you might have a seasoned professional at the helm of the hearing they will always follow the advice of HR and HR are your enemy... believe me if you can get legal representation in the room do it!
     

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